Matthew J. Celozzi, 85, city pharmacist

March 15, 2004

Matthew J. "Doc" Celozzi, a retired hospital pharmacist and a former city pharmacy owner, died Wednesday at Northwest Hospital Center of complications from repeated bouts of pneumonia after a stroke three years ago. He was one day shy of his 86th birthday and, until his illness, had spent most of his life in East Baltimore. He most recently lived at Augsburg Lutheran Home.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Celozzi was a 1936 graduate of City College and a 1940 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. His plans to attend medical school at Cornell University changed with the onset of World War II, and he entered the service in 1941.

He served in the Army for 4 1/2 years, and was an officer in the chemical warfare department and the Army War College. He was commended for developing a method for shipping and transferring bombs that saved the government millions of dollars, said his son, Matthew J. Celozzi II of Woodlawn.

After he was honorably discharged, Mr. Celozzi returned to Baltimore, where he opened Celozzi's pharmacy in East Baltimore. He sold that business in the 1940s and opened a new store in the Montebello community, which he sold in the late 1960s, his son said.

After working in several hospital pharmacies, Mr. Celozzi settled at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where he worked for about 15 years before retiring in 1990 - although he continued to fill in there as needed until 2000, his son said.

"He was always attracted to the hospital work," he said.

Mr. Celozzi was married in 1943 to Jean Maria Simpson, who died in March 2000. He enjoyed reading and attending the symphony, the theater and sports events.

He was a member of the Holy Name Society and the Ushers Society at Our Lady of Pompei Roman Catholic Church at Claremont and South Conkling streets in East Baltimore, where a Mass of the Resurrection will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today.

In addition to his son, he is survived by a sister, Josephine Kahler of Baltimore.

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